What happens when tradition starts to slip into the way we interpret truth? Take a look at your nativity scene. If you have wise men, you will likely have three. This has just become the traditional, accepted number due to the three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the magi brought to Jesus. Matthew’s Gospel, however, does not mention the number of wise men who visited the Christ child. If you take an informal poll, you will find that most people, due to tradition, assume that there were three. Does it make a difference if there were three or thirteen? Probably not, but perhaps our resistance to challenge ingrained thinking matters.
In the Nov.–Dec. issue of Bible Study Magazine, Gary A. Byers, archeologist of near eastern sites and contributing member of the Associates for Biblical Research, makes such a case for interpreting Christ’s very birth place. In an article entitled Away in a Manger, but Not in a Barn, Byers challenges our traditional preconceptions about inns, inn-keepers, and where exactly one would find a manger in the first century. It is very likely, according to Byers, that Jesus wasn’t born alone in a barn, but in the downstairs living quarters of a home where the animals would have been kept at night.
This is the kind of article that would provide great discussion in your Bible study, home group, or even around the dinner table. As Byers concludes in his article, “If this is an accurate reconstruction of the facts, we can say that the Christmas story is not about rejection and being alone. Rather, the focus appears to be just the opposite. It tells us that God the Father made sure His Son was born into this
world surrounded by family.”
With Bible Study Magazine you have tools and methods for Bible Study, as well as insights from respected voices in the church and biblical scholarship, delivered right to your door. And if you subscribe now, you will get six issues for $14.95—almost 50% off the cover price!
As a special bonus, when you subscribe to Bible Study Magazine this month, you will receive the Nov.–Dec. issue with the complete 16 page insert on the brand new Logos Bible Software 4.
Logos Bible Software 4 is a powerhouse of tools to help facilitate the deepest of Bible studies. Whether preparing for your personal Bible study or using Logos 4 to work on your doctrinal thesis, you can rest assured that you have the most effective ally in Logos Bible Software. But Logos 4 is not just a great resource for research and study, it is an immersive environment for getting the most out of simply reading from your growing library.
One great aspect of Logos 4 is that, while the in-depth study capabilities are amazing, the simplicity and layout of the program itself is refreshing as well. Logos Bible Software is perfect for analysis, research and your personal devotions. You will find yourself drawn towards pursuing your personal Bible reading and devotions with Logos 4.
Imagine, you wake up in the morning, go through your normal routine and, with your favorite morning beverage, sit down and open Logos 4. Right there on the top of the Home Page is your Reading Plan. Your reading plan is entirely customizable by you.
If you want to see more, simply click on the Bible reading for the day and your customizable Passage Guide open up with your favorite references and commentaries to the passage from this day’s Bible reading. If you want to continue on in your Bible reading F11 puts you into Reading view which maximizes your browser and clears everything but the text that you are reading. The simple, clear layout encourages you to read chapter after chapter.
From the Home Page you can also read today’s passage from your daily devotional which can also be put into reading mode.
There is so much in Logos 4 that enables, not only study, but your ability to get into the word. You can walk away from your desktop and pick up right where you left off from your laptop thanks to the incredible syncing ability of Logos 4. You can arrange your books in whatever format is most helpful and Logos 4 automatically saves a snapshot of your layout so that you can pick up where you left off.
Logos 4 is a clean, intuitive, and adaptable Bible software that invites you, not just to study the Bible for information’s sake, but to fall in love with simply reading the Scriptures again.
To have a grasp on the biblical languages once required years of study. For those who wanted to dabble in understanding some Greek and Hebrew works they might add a Vine’s Expository Dictionary or many of the other print helps available to give one a rudimentary understanding of key Greek and Hebrew words.
Maybe you have studied Greek and Hebrew in seminary but your skills are just not what they used to be. With the Exegetical Guide in Logos 4, your passage of Scripture is analyzed for you, word by word, in its original language, and definitions are displayed from dictionaries. You can also get insight from leading grammarians, see where biblical manuscripts differ, and observe the structure of the text.
The Bible Word Study gathers extensive information on any word in the Bible, whether Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, and shows you how the word is translated and how it functions. It also shows you where else it is used in ancient literature.
Reverse interlinears are built right into many of Logos 4′s English Bibles which allows you to see the Greek or Hebrew behind your text. Simply highlight a portion of text in one interlinear, and Logos 4 will highlight the corresponding text in other open Bibles. You can see immediately how the Greek and Hebrew was translated in other translations.
Logos Bible Software 4 is not just powerful for language studies. Search your resources with its lightning fast search engine which can scan your whole library in a second. Print brand new, high-resolution infographics that are PowerPoint ready to illustrate some of your major points in sermons, essays or Bible studies. This can all be done in an interface that is completely intuitive and adaptable to your study needs.
If you haven’t upgraded to Logos 4 yet, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to streamline your study and work smarter, not harder.
The new Logos Bible Software iPhone app has totally revolutionized “Bible study on the go.” There have already been more than 10,000 downloads within the first few days of release—all from a simple Twitter announcement that it was available. Seconds later, a flood of “re-tweets” and social networking word-of-mouth lit up the Internet, and that’s just the beginning. So what is this incredible app that has taken off like a rocket? A whole new way to access Bible study on the go.
When you register your account with Logos.com you will be able to access any free books from publishers that want to showcase new titles, or random books that we offer from time to time on free preview. You never know what might show up in your Logos Bible Software iPhone library some day. Imagine picking up your iPhone and seeing the hottest new title available in your library for free preview! One book per month, week, day? Who knows!
…but wait, there’s more!
Add any Logos 4 base package and watch your resources grow as much of your library is synced with your iPhone or iPod Touch; the resources are available and your favorites, bookmarks and settings are transferred from one platform to another. Walk away from your desktop or laptop and your location is saved in the books you are using so that you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone.
The Logos iPhone app is so much more than a simple Bible reader. Mobile Bible study is transformed with multiple versions of the Bible that can be read, searched, cross referenced and compared. You can set-up reading plans that are synced from your desktop or laptop so your Bible reading is always on schedule. In addition, finding a passage is as easy as typing in the reference, using the book navigator, or dragging the scrollbar to the right location.
This application was created with the desire to bring the functionality of Logos Bible Software 4 to your iPhone. In particular, the ability to dig deeper into Scripture with the Passage Guide. Enter a verse and click “Go” to receive a report linking directly to commentaries referencing your verse. The Passage Guide also provides cross references, media resources, topics, and interesting words—all linked to resources in your library.
Do an in-depth Bible Word Study from anywhere by a simple “tap and hold” on any word, in a Bible with a reverse interlinear, and a pop-up will display the English word along with all the original language information. From this pop-up, click Bible Word Study to see the definition, pronunciation, translations, and example uses of the various translations.
Right about now you should be getting the idea that you need this app, you need it now, and you need to register it right away. There is simply no other Bible app that is this intuitive, intelligent and easy to use.
If for no other reason than to fully integrate your Bible study with your iPhone, you need to get a Logos 4 base package today. If you are a new user, check out the detailed information we have just posted about the most advanced Bible software in the world at our Logos 4 mini-site and if you are an existing Logos customer check out the limited time upgrade discounts available for you today.
* The list of e-books that can be read through Logos Bible Software is changing constantly as we secure rights and convert resources. Not all Bibles are linked word-for-word to the Greek and Hebrew yet.
Thomas, married father of four, is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a BA in Pastoral Ministry. He has pastored Fame Evangelical Church in Moweaqua, IL for eleven years. For the last five years Pastor Black has travelled to Haiti to teach a two week seminary module on Spiritual Warfare at the Emmaus Biblical Seminary (carrying his Logos Bible Software with him.)
We touched base this morning via Windows Messenger about his experience.
Logos: When did you start using Logos Bible Software?
Thomas Black: I picked up my first copy of Logos 2 just after starting ministry. It came with just a few resources—I don’t recall the level. I don’t recall being wowed by the interface but I used it a bit.
Logos: Were you with us for the switch to 3.0?
Thomas Black: Around that time I went into the local bookstore to pick up some Sunday school materials, and the bookshelf had one book which included a copy of Libronix on it. That’s when I first heard there was a version 3. I couldn’t resist it. I picked it up, and ran home. I’m a bit of a computer geek and couldn’t resist a new bit of software. It was the newness that caught me—rather than the resource itself. Once I installed it, I thought, “This is what Bible software should be like!” I snapped up a few more resources after that and it wasn’t long before I bought the Scholar’s Library package and then moved up to Scholar’s Library: Silver, then to Gold.
Logos: Was it difficult to keep Logos 4 a secret during the beta testing?
Thomas Black: Keeping Logos 4 a secret almost killed me. I host a blog and occasionally someone would ask me and I just had to keep quiet. Several times I or one of the other beta testers would accidentally post something in the wrong forum—thanks to sharp eyes we managed against the odds to keep the secret.
Logos: What were your initial feelings about Logos 4 as you began to interact with it?
Thomas Black: At first, I was one of the detractors to the interface. I hated the home page. That’s not an overstatement. After a few days, and listening to responses from Bob, I started settling in. I saw the logic of introducing all kinds of new information to us. It was like the “book of the day” section on the Libronix 3 home page had grown to many books of the day, and I saw that as a good thing. I started to understand that the newspaper-like layout was meant to pull me in to areas I might not look at otherwise—and it worked. I’ve rediscovered many resources I forgot I had.
Logos: Did you find that Logos was responsive during the beta-testing?
Thomas Black: I thought the whole crew at Logos was amazing. I was really impressed with the attitudes of Bob, and all the programmers and others as they kept responding not only to bug reports but sometimes to some pretty strong criticism. Occasionally plans were changed midstream in response. The whole experience was quite positive. I know that you were all listening to us as beta-testers. We didn’t always get our way but we all knew that our voices were heard.
Logos: How did the Logos 4 experience change as updates started to come?
Thomas Black: There are two answers to that one: first, it was partially frustrating especially as multi-gigabyte updates came down the pipe. Those were tough. Second, the experience continually improved. Every update of the program was better, smoother, faster and always there was an impressive batch of bug fixes. My hat is off to the programmers at Logos. They were working long hard hours at a feverish pace for two months. The evidence of their labor is on my desktop right now waiting for me to continue my studies.
Logos: Did you feel that camaraderie was created with you and the other beta-testers through the experience?
Thomas Black: I had a blast with those guys! Several of us already knew of each other from the former newsgroups, but I really felt like during the beta, due to our frequent interactions, that our relationships grew quite a bit. There was quite a bit of good natured ribbing going on, and despite that, no one, that I can recall, got their feelings hurt. They were a great group of people to work with.
Logos: If you were showing Logos 4 to someone unfamiliar with using Bible software for study and devotion what items would you highlight for them and why?
Thomas Black: Great question . . . first, I’d begin with pointing out the obvious things. Enter your passage and click go still applies. It’s simple and yet quite powerful due to the built-in (and customizable) Passage Guide. After that, I’d work them through the library, just learning how to find out what you have in there is powerful. If they don’t learn how to use the library, they’re not going to get everything out of the software. Beyond that, I think the software can take even the novice where they want to go almost naturally.
Logos: Thanks so much for giving me some of your time this morning and I appreciate your candor.
Thomas Black: You’re welcome. Thanks to you and the whole Logos crew. This has been a great experience.
On behalf of the BibleTech:2010 team, I am pleased to inform you that your presentation proposal has been accepted! We would love to send you an email with just such a message this November.
The BibleTech team is putting a call out for everyone interested in how technology is shaping the ways we read, interpret, translate and handle God’s Word. If you specialize in the intersection of Bible and technology we would be thrilled to hear what you are working on.
So if you are a programmer, developer, publisher, tagging expert, information/library scientist, technologist, thought leader, design guru, information architect, webmaster, mash-up creator or just have an interesting vantage point on how the Bible and technology intersect, we want to hear from you.
How many Twitter followers do you have? Five? Twenty-five? One thousand!? Think about how many of those followers are walking through any number of the difficulties that life tends to toss our way. Consider how many of them just need to hear some encouragement. Maybe today would be a good time to send out a favorite, encouraging scripture or two. Perhaps you have a verse which has so inspired you it has become your life-verse and is the kind of support that someone might need today. Ref.ly was created to meet such a need.
With ref.ly you can provide a short link to that verse that has been on your mind and send followers directly to that passage at Bible.Logos.com.
Jesus was unequivocal; “In this world you will have trouble.” If you have at least one friend, then you know someone acquainted with grief. If you are in ministry then you don’t need to be told that our churches are filled with the hurting, the wounded, the sick and the lonely. In ministry, helping those who suffer is often the task for which we are least equipped.
The Christian Focus Counseling Collection is a great tool to augment your counseling/care skill set. Included are eight volumes from Christian Focus Publications that are perfect to enable you to revisit a whole host of care-driven ministry needs.
In this collection are books to:
Help you understand and minister to those suffering from depression with both a Biblical and medical understanding
Minister to the grieving through the lens of the Old Testament book of Lamentations
Provide a healthy, theological and balanced look at miraculous healing
Enable you to understand and minister to couple dealing with infertility issues
Empower you to provide pastoral visitations that are spiritually nourishing
Equip others with a self image that is based on a sound and uplifting Christian worldview
The beauty of having resources like this in your Logos Bible Software is that each word is essentially a link to more resources within your library and allowing deeper and more illuminating study. Scripture references are linked to your favorite translation and even original language resources. Studying has never been so uncomplicated and enriching.
Yes, Jesus was quite clear that “In this world you will have trouble.” And it is our sacred responsibility to ensure that we can flesh out his follow-up encouragement, “But take heart! I have overcome the world!”
English cleric and writer Charles Colton said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” In this high-tech culture Colton’s aphorism might be updated to “Fidelity is the sincerest form of flattery.” Running into those true believers who use, love and cannot help but spread the word about Logos Bible Software is always flattering.
Meet Carl Bosma, ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in North America, church planter, leadership developer with Christian Reformed World Missions, Professor of Biblical studies at Seminario Presbiteriano do Sul, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, Th.D. candidate and Logos Bible Software user. In fact, Mr. Bosma wrote a very thorough and impressive manual for Libronix 3.0 that, although Logos wasn’t affiliated with, those of us who have perused it were very impressed.
I touched base with Prof. Bosma recently to get more information about this huge project:
The medicinal benefits of laughing are well documented:
A good, strong laugh provides a heart rate increase equal to 15 minutes of biking
Laughter decreases stress and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease
Laughing helps to deepen breathing, improving respiration
A hearty laugh relieves tension, reduces stress and can leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes
It leaves one to wonder why, if there are so many advantages to laughing, is there so little levity in the Scriptures? Any physical benefits of laughing were designed and hardwired into us by the Creator himself, so would it be so difficult for him to tell a casual joke? To use the periodic pun? To exchange the occasional bon mot?
An article in Bible Study Magazine suggests that perhaps He did. Samuel Lamerson, Dean of
Faculty and Associate Professor of New Testament at Knox Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, proposes that perhaps the disconnect between us and the funnier comments and stories Jesus told is cultural—maybe we just don’t understand what they would have found funny in Palestine 2,000 years ago. He also suggests that perhaps we just don’t like the idea of a jovial Jesus and prefer to picture our Savior as a “man of many sorrows, acquainted with grief.” Lamerson walks us through some examples of stories Jesus told which his listeners would have found humor in, showing that Jesus may have been a little more wry than we would typically admit.
Bible Study Magazine provides many previews of these kinds of amazing articles, as well as interactive tools to accompany many of the articles in print. But subscribing today is the only way to ensure you don’t miss a single issue.